Cairo Opera House
A part of Real Fictions III
This project looks beyond the traditional means of city planning and architectural design in order to challenge the formal assumptions and hierarchical associations placed on the architectural subject and city object. By doing so, the project explores an architecture of its particulars and inherent limitations rather than easier abstractions, both in conception and representation.
The project site is situated at the location of an existing parking structure in downtown Cairo, Egypt. This ramped structure, replacing an historic building destroyed by fire, current separates two major urban spaces, Opera Square and Ataba Square, and creates an urban character dominated by cars and traffic. With the understanding that one large move would just replicate the conditions in which the parking structure created, that is being an architectural monolith, the project instead created multiple interventions around the site. This allowed the project to exploit the site's existing formal qualities and spacial efficiencies and merge them with new architectural and urban languages.
Exploring multiple scales of intervention, the project gave new characters to each of its elevations according to certain adjacencies and site conditions. The bifurcation of the existing masses of the office building and parking structure allows for a separation in the character of both. Doing this allowed the office building to be given back to the new opera house and become cross-breed between the new architectural intervention and the old character of the parking structure.
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